New Google Voice Search App for iPhone
Google researchers have added sophisticated voice recognition technology, adept at understanding human speech, to the company’s search software for the Apple iPhone. Google is expected to introduce a free application as early as today and experts say it could almost eliminate the need for the keyboard entirely.
New York Times' John Markoff writes, “The service can be used to get restaurant recommendations and driving directions, look up contacts in the iPhone’s address book or just settle arguments in bars. The query “What is the best pizza restaurant in Noe Valley?” returns a list of three restaurants in that San Francisco neighborhood, each with starred reviews from Google users and links to click for phone numbers and directions.”
The query results will turn up in just seconds on a fast wireless network, and will take of advantage of features that let the iPhone determine its location. The voice recognition quality is supposed to be superb. Systems that can recognize any phrase said by almost anyone have recently started making their way into commercial products, and the new Google app is supposedly one of these.
Raj Reddy, an artificial intelligence researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, says, “It’s important to understand that machine recognition will never be perfect, the question is, How close can they come to human performance?” Mr. Reddy continues “Whatever they introduce now, it will greatly increase in accuracy in three or six months.”
Furthermore, the new application also takes advantage of the iPhone's built-in accelerometer to determine how users hold the handset. It will only go into "listen mode" when it seems you've raised the phone to your ear, and this is good because it will reduce unintentional queries.
While experts say the Google app will definitely make its way into other phones, it is first being introduced with the iPhone.
Sounds awesome! Whoever downloads it, let us know how well it works.